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Euphorbia griffithii

Griffith’s Spurge.

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Euphorbia griffithii

Griffith’s Spurge.

Availability: Out of stock

Packet Size:10 Seeds


Euphorbia griffithii is plant of many talents. The show starts in spring when asparagus-like spears of fiery apricot-orange pierce the earth before sultry burnt-orange inflorescences uncurl above darkly-ribbed foliage.

This dramatic and exciting spurge has upright stems that are clothed with elongated deep green leaves which are coppery-tinted. The stems and mature foliage have vibrant red and fuchsia veins that give the whole plant a warm glow. From June through to September, stunning, fiery, bright orange-red flowers with attractive, brick-red bracts make an eye-catching, showy feature in the border. In autumn ember-like colours, orange, red, crimson, and gold transforms the foliage like a smouldering sunset.

Euphorbia griffithii is ideal for creating a dramatic impact in the garden. They will tolerate very dry positions but prefer a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and in these conditions they will form a neat clump. They are relatively untroubled by pests, need little attention and are hardy down to minus 30°C (-25°F). The plants combine well particularly with yellow flowers in the early summer border and it looks beautiful in hot planting schemes.
If you buy just one Euphorbia for your garden, make it this one... it's a stunner!

Sowing: Sow in late spring to early summer.
Soak the seeds for two hours in warm water before sowing. Euphorbia plants do not like root disturbance, so it is best to sow the seeds in place of growth or to use deep plugs or pots. Grow at 20 to 26°C (68 to 78°F) . Be patient, germination is generally very slow, it may occur in two to three weeks at but sometimes can take a few months.

Sowing Direct:
Sow directly where they are to grow, once temperatures have risen and the soil has warmed. Sow on the surface of the soil and keep damp but not wet.

Sowing Indoors:
Surface sow the seeds into plugs or small pots using a good seed sowing mix or well drained soil and cover seed with vermiculite, do not exclude light.
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into larger pots to grow on. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out. Plant 30cm (12in) apart in sun and ordinary well drained soil.

Grow in moist, humus-rich soil in light dappled shade. The plants should be well watered and be allowed to dry before watering again. Native to poor soils, the plants do not need fertiliser or excessive water, too much of either will provide lush growth but at the expense of flowers.
After the plant has finished flowering prune back the flowering stems as close to the base as possible to encourage a second flush of colourful foliage and plenty of new shoots for flowering the following year.

Plant Uses:
Borders and Beds. Cut Flowers.

Cut Flowers:
To produce longer lasting cut flowers, sear the cut ends over a flame or dip them in boiling water.

As with all members of the Euphorbiaceae, plants and seed are toxic if eaten.
When working with spurges, plants should be handled with care, especially when sap is showing. Always wear gloves since the milky sap is poisonous and a potential skin irritant. The latex is corrosive to the skin and can cause burns or dermatitis.

Euphorbia griffithii is native to Bhutan, Tibet and South West China,
Euphorbia is a very varied genus of about 2,000 species of annuals, biennials, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, trees and succulents with an equally varied distribution in temperate, subtropical and tropical regions. They are adapted to a wide range of habitats, which has led to a great deal of variation in both size and growth habit.
Part of the Euphorbiaceae, the spurge family, the plant belongs to the same family as the Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima.

The genus was named after Euphorbes, the personal physician to the Numidian king Juba II, who is said to have discovered the toxic and curative potential of the white and milky sap in the plant.
The word Euphorbus derives from the Greek eu meaning ‘good’ and phorbe meaning ‘pasture or fodder’ thus giving euphorbos the meaning ‘well fed.’
The common name ‘Spurge’ derives from the old French espurgier meaning 'to purge', as the sap of herbaceous euphorbias used to be used as a purgative, a laxative.

The name Euphorbia is named for Euphorbus, the Greek physician of Juba II, the King of Mauretania.
Juba was educated in Rome and married the daughter of Antony and Cleopatra.
He was apparently interested in botany and had written about an African cactus-like plant he had found or which he knew about from the slopes of Mt. Atlas which was used as a powerful laxative. That plant may have been Euphorbia resinifera, and like all Euphorbias had a latexy exudate.
Euphorbus had a brother named Antonius Musa who was the physician to Augustus Caesar in Rome. When Juba heard that Caesar had honoured his physician with a statue, he decided to honour his own physician by naming the plant he had written about after him.
The word Euphorbus derives from the Greek eu meaning ‘good’ and phorbe meaning ‘pasture or fodder’ thus giving euphorbos the meaning ‘well fed.’
Some sources suggest that Juba was amused by the play upon words and chose his physician's name for the plant because of its succulent nature and because of Euphorbus' corpulent physique.
One species of Euphorbia, E. regis-jubae, was named in honour of King Juba II.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Packet Size 10 Seeds
Family Euphorbiaceae
Genus Euphorbia
Species griffithii
Common Name Griffith’s Spurge.
Hardiness Hardy Perennial
Natural Flower Time June to September
Height 60 to 90cm (24 to 36in)
Spread 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in)
Position Full sun to partial shade.
Soil All soils and will tolerate very dry positions.
Time to Sow Sow in early spring to early autumn.
Germination Be patient, germination is generally very slow

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